The Equity Through Access (ETA) project is DVRPC’s update of the region’s Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP). ETA seeks to improve economic and social opportunity in the region by expanding access to essential services for vulnerable populations - those who are more critically impacted by barriers and gaps in infrastructure, service coordination, and policies. Vulnerable populations are individuals who are low income, seniors, physically disabled, mentally disabled, and more likely to be transit dependent than the general population. Essential services are defined as destinations needed to meet a standard quality of life and include places of employment, grocery stores, schools, medical facilities, recreation/open space areas, senior centers, and centers for the developmentally disabled. This project responds to the changing CHSTP funding landscape and looks for new ways to promote accessible, affordable, and safe mobility.
ETA also responds to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Ladders of Opportunity initiative, which was launched in 2015 to foster more involvement and inclusion, and to mitigate barriers to access through the nation’s infrastructure improvements. The Ladders of Opportunity initiative recognizes that transportation projects exert influence beyond the built environment, impacting the job opportunities and social mobility of individuals and communities.
ETA focuses on developing and prioritizing projects that may be funded outside of traditional CHSTP funding sources. ETA has engaged local governments, human services agencies, nonprofits, transportation providers, advocates, and low income, senior, and disabled users to identify unmet mobility needs and service gaps, recommend new or different kinds of transportation access solutions, and enable more people to access social and economic mobility.
DVRPC’s Board accepted the ETA project as the region’s new CHSTP on October 22, 2020.